U News

Gabe Marks criticizes UCLA for “trying too hard”

October 1, 2016: Washington State Cougars wide receiver Gabe Marks (9) during the game between Oregon Ducks and the Washington State Cougars at the Martin Stadium in Pullman, Washington. (Photo by Steve Conner/Icon Sportswire)
Photo by Steve Conner/Icon Sportswire

Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks isn’t one to hold his tongue. At July’s Pac-12 media days, Marks said, “If I have something to say about a situation…I’ll say it.”

Just such a situation presented itself Saturday in Washington State’s 27-21 win over UCLA. Marks commented Monday on the Bruins warming up on the Cougars’ side of the field at Martin Stadium, and his assessment was characteristically candid.

UCLA’s toughness — or more accurately, the perception of its toughness — has been a longstanding issue following the Bruins. Former head coach Rick Neuheisel took issue with current head coach Jim Mora’s comments on past UCLA teams playing “soft.”

“All he did was go and paint the walls black and wear black on the sideline, and thinks that that’s tough,” Neuheisel charged on his SiriusXM radio show in February.

Misconception or not, the idea of UCLA as soft is a prevalent enough stigma that the Venice resident Marks addressed it publicly. Marks’ critique of UCLA behaving like “bad guys” fits with a recent trend in Mora’s tenure, as the head coach has sought to instill a more physical style of play.

The Bruins ranked dead last in FBS in penalty yardage in 2012, No. 122 in 2013, No. 120 in 2014 and No. 18 a season ago. UCLA’s cut down on flags thus far in 2016, currently ranking No. 53 nationally, but the pregame demonstration Saturday left Marks saying foul.

A senior, Marks will leave Washington State on a two-game winning streak against UCLA. He caught for two touchdowns in the Cougars’ 31-27 win at the Rose Bowl in 2015, and tallied six catches in Saturday’s win.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top